Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

A Gift of Sanctuary

Friday, February 28, 2020

A Gift of Sanctuary (1998) Candace Robb (Owen Archer)

A Gift of SanctuarySet in Wales in 1397

Owen, Geoffery Chaucer, and Michaelo are accompanying Sir Robert, Owen’s father-in-law, in pilgrimage to St. David’s in Wales.

Owen and Chaucer are to also going to Wales for the Duke of Lancaster to determine if the steward at Cydweli Castle is secretly working with the French.

(W)e do not yet know whether Gruffydd ap Goronwy is a traitor. He was accused by the mother of the Lord of Pembroke. Though she married a Hastings, she will ever be a Mortimer, and the Mortimers are fond of accusing their enemies of treason. It is a tidy solution.’

As a point of clarification, I’m re-reading this series before bed. I mention that because even the 2nd (or third?) time around, I still found the story a little confusing.

He is of an old Marcher family…’

‘… which means they are excellent judges of the direction in which the wind blows.’

There are a lot of people and I often ran them together, and it initially wasn’t clear who the injured pilgrim was and who the dead man was and a lot of it just ran together for me.

However, as noted, that could be because I’m reading this series before bed, and could very well be losing the thread of the story. But I didn’t do that with the earlier books in the series.

Also, this book is all Owen–Lucie only appears when mentioned by the other characters, and I missed her and Jaspar and Magda. Yes, Owen would certainly have been sent on missions, so it wasn’t unreasonable. It just wasn’t quite as interesting without Lucie.

One of the things I love about this series are the historical glimpses of a world so very different from ours.

‘The good steward’s bastard? Seed sown in youth, reaped in middle age, eh?’

‘Here they make little note of whether a child was born within the bonds of marriage and often acknowledge their natural children.

It’s easy to think that the puritanical standards so common in the US in the past weren’t common around the world for much of history.

We also get more of Michaelo’s redemption. It’s a slow arc, and he’s still sometimes vain and often seeks comfort, but he’s a completely different man from the first book.

Publisher: Diversion Books
Rating: 7.5/10

Categories: 7.5/10, British, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    

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